After many years of negotiation,finally the nations have made an agreement to establish the world’s largest marine reserve in Antartica which is one of the coldest places of the world. 24 countries and the European Union reached the unanimous deal at an international meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of world’s largest marine sanctuary Resources in Hobart, Australia on Friday.
“The Ross Sea is widely considered to be the last great wilderness area on Earth and known as the polar ‘Garden of Eden’,”The area is home to “50 % of ecotype-C killer whales , 40 % of Adélie penguins, and 25 % of emperor penguins.”
At 600,000 square miles, the sanctuary covers an area twice the size of Texas.The States and New Zealand have been pushing for the reserve for years. But the area is also popular among commercial fishermen. And countries including China and Russia have been holding out, until today.The agreement is “remarkable” at a time of “strained political relations,” as U.N. Environment’s Patron of the Oceans Lewis Pugh says in a statement.
In 1959 at the height of the Cold War, Antarctica was set aside as a place for peace and science. Today’s announcement shows that Antarctica continues to be a place for peace and bridge building, a place where we can find common ground.But the Ross Sea sanctuary is only the second-ever marine protected area on the high seas, says the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources[CCAMLR].They added that the agreement will come into force in December. 72% of the sanctuary will be a ‘no-take zone, which forbids all fishing, while other sections will permit some harvesting of fish and krill for scientific research.